Hello everybody! For today’s movie club we have the 1992 comedy My Cousin Vinny.
MY COUSIN VINNY
DIRECTED: Jonathan Lynn
STARRING: Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Fred Gwynne
COUNTRY: United States
Bill Gambini and Stanley Rothenstein are two friends from New York University who just received scholarships to UCLA. They decide to drive through the South. Once they arrive in Alabama, they stop at a local convenience store to pick up a few snacks. But, no sooner than they leave the store, they are arrested. They had thought that they were arrested for shoplifting, but they were arrested for murder and robbery. Worse, they are facing execution for this crime. Bill and Stan do not have enough money for a lawyer, so the good news is that Bill has a lawyer in his family, his cousin, Vincent Laguardia Gambini. The bad news is that Vinny is an inexperienced lawyer who has not been at a trial. So, Vinny has to defend his clients and battle an uncompromising judge, some tough locals, and even his fiancée, Mona Lisa Vito, who just does not know when to shut up, to prove his clients’ innocence. But he will soon realize that he is going to need help.
This is a hilarious and comical satire of the modern justice system in America. Cousin Vinny is the only option left for two young college students who think they are being held by police for shoplifting a can of tuna but the actual charge is for shooting the retail store clerk in the back. Joe Pesci in the role of the lawyer with no previous court experience trying to save his cousin and his friend, leads us through one of the best directed movies of the 90’s.
I’m not sure there’s a lesson for lawyers to glean from My Cousin Vinny. But the movie does remind us that, although the legal process is more often than not drab and perfunctory, once in a while, when you least expect it, a star will appear and shine just long enough to illuminate justice—or provide very good entertainment.
- Main cast performance.
- Satire of justice system.
- Plenty of comedy.
- Written dialogue.
SCORE: 6.5 / 10
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